Fanshawe's faculty of business gains a new dean

Mary Pierce continues to grow her roots at Fanshawe, by being named the new dean of the faculty of business.

Mary Pierce, former instructor and chair of the Lawrence Kinlin School of Business, has been appointed dean of Fanshawe’s faculty of business.

As dean, Pierce will oversee the strategic, academic, financial and overall operational management for over 35 programs within the College’s largest faculty.

Pierce said one of her top priorities in her new role is providing new ideas for the school’s direction.

“I do believe there are many things that we could be doing even more with as a Faculty of Business,” Pierce said. “The Business School, School of Tourism and School of IT – I see it as being bigger and better and more exciting and more connected to preparing people for employment.”

She also emphasized the implementation of the new downtown campus at 130 Dundas Street, which houses courses from the Faculty’s Schools of Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts, and Information Technology (IT).

Pierce holds an honours BA in economics from the University of Toronto, and an MA in education – community college, from Central Michigan University.

Previously, Pierce held senior leadership and management positions in marketing with Procter and Gamble, SC Johnson Wax, the Blackburn Group and Citigroup International.

She first came to Fanshawe in 2000, when she answered a last-minute request to cover a sick leave teaching a course in customer relationship management.

Although working in education had not been a part of her original career path, Pierce described the experience as “life-changing”.

“I think you don’t know your own level of expertise until you start trying to get involved teaching others,” Pierce said. “I didn’t really think that would be so interesting and so fun and so rewarding and when I tried it I realized it was. It was a revelation for me.”

Pierce eventually became a fulltime professor and then co-ordinator before moving on to chair the Lawrence Kinlin School of Business, a position she held for 11 years.

Under her leadership, Fanshawe’s Kinlin School of Business launched 18 new programs, including four bachelor of commerce degrees and 20 international exchange partnerships.

Additionally, she advocated for easier credit transference. As chair, Pierce developed over 300 new pathway agreements to help students transfer from college to university, or from university to college.

Pierce said she has chaired 11 provincial credit transfer projects in the past and is currently involved with several committees as part of her continuing efforts to create seamless pathways for students across all types of post-secondary education at any time.

“I think we should be evolving our system here in Ontario to be way more transparent for people,” Pierce said. “If I have a number one cause in my life outside of my main job, that’s what it is right now.”

Pierce has also been a part of numerous charitable boards including St. Joseph’s Hospital, the London Children’s Museum and the Bruce Trail Association. She was recently nominated for a Pillar Community Innovation Award for her collaboration with Junior Achievement, an organization that promotes innovation entrepreneurship in young people.

Pierce said she is most motivated by the ability to work with people and make improvements.

She advised new and returning students to make the most of their education by engaging and participating in the college.

“My personal life motto is carpe diem, seize the day,” Pierce said. “Be here with us in this moment – not on your phone. Be here in this moment, and take advantage of everything it can be.”